A Film About Robert Lloyd and The Nightingales
How does a working class autodidact, with no visible means of support, maintain his role as the leader of a cult British underground band into its fifth decade? Comedian and writer Stewart Lee, director Michael Cumming and James Nicholls investigate the mysterious existence of Robert Lloyd, Britain’s ultimate post-punk survivor. Robert Lloyd’s Prefects played with The Clash on the White Riot tour in 1977, and their ongoing incarnation, as Birmingham’s Captain Beefheart suffused post-punk poets The Nightingales, recorded more John Peel sessions than any other band. Ever. But what were the social, cultural and economic circumstances that enabled and sustained such outsider artists in the punk and post-punk eras, and how has the world changed to the point where such figures are unlikely to flourish in the same way today? Lloyd’s own odyssey echoes how abstract notions of social mobility, of the value of culture and music, have changed in the last five decades.